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#1230168 - 07/11/09 08:25 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: argerichfan]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19284
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Funnily, I'm listening to the Brahms symphony 2 as I write. The lady doth protest too much, methinks, incredibly written music, but so utterly dull and impotent. There is a certain smugness about Brahms which really puts me off.

I suppose I have to be in the 'mood', but today is not that. I'll gladly give him up for the more vibrant Wagner, Brahms is utterly tiresome. His colours are so faded, his mastery only theoretical, his humanity self-serving.

A good case might be made for Brahms being one of the worst composers of his generation- and I would not be quick to dismiss the observations of G. B. Shaw. He made some valid points.

Whatever, tomorrow I might feel differently. But with Bach, Mozart, Liszt, Wagner, I have never wavered in my admiration. Not so with Brahms, and the only other composer falling into that category would be Mahler, but that's a different issue.


Maybe this will "cure" you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TC2Wkv8IS8


Edited by pianoloverus (07/11/09 08:25 PM)

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#1230188 - 07/11/09 09:00 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: pianoloverus]
argerichfan Online   sick
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8865
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


Maybe this will "cure" you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TC2Wkv8IS8

OMG. That was absolutely fabulous! Stephen Hough is one of my all time favourite pianists, and what a feast that was. I am clearing the tears away, sometimes I forget what an impact Brahms can make on me.

Hough, btw, wrote an incredible essay on Elgar's Catholicism.

Thanks, I think I need to watch this again. smile
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Jason

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#1230193 - 07/11/09 09:06 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: argerichfan]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


Maybe this will "cure" you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TC2Wkv8IS8

OMG. That was absolutely fabulous! Stephen Hough is one of my all time favourite pianists, and what a feast that was. I am clearing the tears away, sometimes I forget what an impact Brahms can make on me.

Hough, btw, wrote an incredible essay on Elgar's Catholicism.

Thanks, I think I need to watch this again. smile


And what an impact Hough can make as well. Awesome! This made my day. Especially after reading so much arrogance in some of the threads here, this was quite refreshing.
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#1230200 - 07/11/09 09:20 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: Kreisler]
rrb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 212
Loc: Bend, USA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Just FYI, a more exhaustive and contemporary study of Schoenberg's comments on Brahms is Walter Frisch's "Brahms and the Principle of Developing Variation."

Thank you for pointing out Schoenberg's acknowledgment of Brahms as an innovator. It's not very hard to see the link between early Schoenberg (Verklaerte Nacht) and late Brahms. Schoenberg actually went as far as to arrange a Brahms piano quartet for orchestra which for a while was touted about as 'Brahms' 5th Symphony'.

A few things that this thread has perhaps not emphasized enough:
1. Brahms was a perfectionist. He destroyed more of his work than he allowed to be published. Ergo any published work has something about it Brahms was happy with, and he was much harder on himself than we lesser mortals could ever be.

2. The 'Brahms vs Wagner/Liszt' controversy was fed mainly by Wagner, who persisted in writing nasty articles about Brahms' music. Brahms was a bit mystified by this because he admired Wagner's work. There is even a story of him planning a trip to Bayreuth, but calling it off at the last minute because he was afraid Wagner would use Brahms' presence as an excuse for further attacks on Brahms' adherence to 'absolute music' (as distinct from 'tone poems'). Wagner would not have attacked Brahms as virulently as he did if he had not recognized a threat to his claim to be the preeminent composer of his day. (Wagner was notoriously a tad short on compassion, but rather long on ego.)

3. Brahms symphonies are very tightly written, meaning that material is used sparsely, as in Beethoven's late piano sonatas and quartets. Wagner's canvasses were very large and rather loose. Attempting to 'rank' these composers against each other is therefore akin to comparing kiwifruit and melon.

4. Brahms is reputed to have said that his piano music was not intended to be accessible to someone 'whose talent did not extent beyond his elbows'. Which, if I can be so bold as to translate from 'north-German', means that the challenge is in grasping the musical content of the piece. Just 'playing the notes' will not get you there. Possibly this is why pianists tend to favor composers whose piano music is musically more accessible.

In my opinion, Brahms' music, in terms of content and innovation thoroughly deserves his designation as the third 'B'. His third and fourth symphonies are the finest to have been written in the 19th century post Beethoven. His piano quintet is rivaled in quality only by Schumanns's, and his violin concerto is on everyone's list of the few finest ever written.

Brahms is only a 'difficult composer' if you are looking for a cheap thrill. Thrills there are a-plenty in Brahms, but cheap they are not.
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#1230203 - 07/11/09 09:23 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: rrb]
Andromaque Offline
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Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
who do you have in mind for cheap thrills? Mozart?

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#1230204 - 07/11/09 09:26 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: Andromaque]
rrb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 212
Loc: Bend, USA
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
who do you have in mind for cheap thrills? Mozart?


What on earth made you think of Mozart in this context?
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#1230208 - 07/11/09 09:44 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: rrb]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
I am being sarcastic. You came down so hard on some folks' slight lack of fanaticism towards old Johannes.. Others evoked arrogance..
I don't think anyone in this thread said Brahms was an idiot. Specific negative criticism was nicely placed in historical context and referenced..
Your dismissal of those who do not love Brahms as musical neophytes who cannot fathom his difficulty and are in search for cheap thrills was a bit unequivocal. So I asked myself who I would rather listen to, and Wolfie came up. I will take any of his piano concerti or sonatas anyday anytime over JB's.. But that is just me..

For Brahms' fans, Andras Schiff is playing Brahms' first piano concerto with Muti and the NY Philharmonic in March. The second part of the program, interestingly, consists of Hindemith's Symphony in E flat...

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#1230221 - 07/11/09 10:08 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: Andromaque]
rrb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 212
Loc: Bend, USA
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
I am being sarcastic. You came down so hard on some folks' slight lack of fanaticism towards old Johannes..


The OP wanted to know whether there are any Brahms fans on the forum. I read quickly thorough the thread and believe this gives in its totality an underestimation of a composer I consider to be one of the all time greats.

The thread is imho unrepresentative of what I would regard as a reasonable consensus on the significance of Brahms' music. So I wrote a corrective.

You are, of course, perfectly entitled to express in whatever terms you wish your 'slight lack of fanaticism' for whomsoever you wish.


Edited by rrb (07/11/09 10:09 PM)
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#1230261 - 07/12/09 01:23 AM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: rrb]
Swordfish Offline
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Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Oregon
His fourth symphony is one of the most recognizable ever written. The Hungarian Dance No. 5 too. Somehow I have the impression it is too easy to sound monotonous and predictable for the piano solo works. Maybe it's due to the pianist instead of the composer, but I anticipate every single outburst in any performance, however great.

I mean if you listen to a piece familiar enough, you expect when there are sudden shifts in dynamics, sudden pauses, etc, but there is still a kind of spontaneity. I haven't ever had the same feeling with Brahms.


Edited by Swordfish (07/12/09 01:28 AM)

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#1230271 - 07/12/09 02:19 AM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: Swordfish]
BruceD Offline
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I don't quite get it.

The OP asked for opinions on the works of Brahms. Some people expressed their opinions and then others criticize them for voicing those opinions. Is this not an open forum for expressing opinions? Do all opinions have to agree, otherwise they are considered invalid?

Regards,
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#1230277 - 07/12/09 03:14 AM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: BruceD]
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
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With sincere respect Damon,

At 50 years of age (excuse a look at your profile) you’re more than ready for anno Domini insight into the Brahms legacy ... only with the years does the majesty of Brahms works filter through ... with 20 years on you, soaking up the marvels of Johannes B , I continue to be completely stopped in my tracks by the breathtaking 4 Symphonies ... but this morning on our local ClassicFm radio channel the host played the slow movement to the Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto ... and so rightly mused "it is as if the world stood still".

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#1230305 - 07/12/09 07:30 AM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: rrb]
pianovirus Offline
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Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 951
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
Originally Posted By: rrb
2. The 'Brahms vs Wagner/Liszt' controversy was fed mainly by Wagner, who persisted in writing nasty articles about Brahms' music. Brahms was a bit mystified by this because he admired Wagner's work. There is even a story of him planning a trip to Bayreuth, but calling it off at the last minute because he was afraid Wagner would use Brahms' presence as an excuse for further attacks on Brahms' adherence to 'absolute music' (as distinct from 'tone poems'). Wagner would not have attacked Brahms as virulently as he did if he had not recognized a threat to his claim to be the preeminent composer of his day. (Wagner was notoriously a tad short on compassion, but rather long on ego.)


There's no doubt that there were many polemic attacks from the side of Wagner. But note that Brahms, in 1860, was the first of four authors of a highly polemic "declaration" against the Neudeutsche Schule in a Berlin newspaper called Echo. The other party responded (smartly) with a witty parody of this declaration in the "Neue Zeitschrift für Musik". As a consequence there was a public perception of Brahms as conservative and aggressive. Apparently Brahms considered his prominent participation in this declaration as a big mistake and would never again want to be associated with a particular "school" afterwards.
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#1230322 - 07/12/09 08:57 AM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: BruceD]
sotto voce Offline
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Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I would suggest that much of Brahms' music seems to lack spontaneity; there is a well-crafted, almost studied feel to some of Brahms' piano works….

Bruce, could you elaborate? I don't understand how lack of spontaneity—an inherent characteristic of all non-improvised music—distinguishes Brahms's music in particular; it seems to me that your comments could apply equally to the music of most any great composer.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1230381 - 07/12/09 11:15 AM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: argerichfan]
jdhampton924 Offline
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Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Funnily, I'm listening to the Brahms symphony 2 as I write. The lady doth protest too much, methinks, incredibly written music, but so utterly dull and impotent. There is a certain smugness about Brahms which really puts me off.


I really think you hit it on the head with your statement on Brahms. I do enjoy his works now more so then when I was a younger, but a lot of times it does seem dull. And the smugness you are talking about is definitely there. When he was told he was the next Beethoven he took it to seriously. I have played Brahms a lot, but every time his music feels like a chore except for op. 118 and the Piano concerto in D minor. I do enjoy his sonatas and wish I had time to learn one.

Though I did not have the same reaction to other German romantic composers when I started listening to them more. I can't get enough of the music of Mendellssohn and Schumann!

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#1230406 - 07/12/09 12:49 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: jdhampton924]
sotto voce Offline
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Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I'm as perplexed by smugness as I am by lack of spontaneity, and equally uncertain how it is conveyed or revealed in music.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1230426 - 07/12/09 01:50 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: Damon]
Otis S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 204
Brahms is truly a great composer. His large scale orchestral works (such as his 4 symphonies, 2 piano concerti, violin concerto, and double concerto) are among the greatest works in their genres ever composed. His variations on a theme by Haydn are my favorite set of variations written for orchestra. Two other favorites of mine are his variations and fugue on a theme of Handel and his piano quintet in F minor.

Others have commented on several of his shorter works for piano as well as the sonatas. His larger works for piano such as the 2 piano concerti, variations and fugue on a theme by Handel, and sonatas are extremely difficult to play.

It is fairly common on this forum to find many critical remarks of the greatest composers who ever lived. Mozart’s music has been criticized as being too simplistic. Bach has been criticized as being boring. Liszt is often criticized as being superficial, etc. No matter how good your music is, there will be a vocal contingent critical of it. Perhaps this reflects the diversity of musical tastes that people have. Ultimately, the number (and particularly the high percentage; all of his symphonies and concerti are masterpieces. This is at least in part the result of how self critical Brahms was in the pieces he chose to publish) of large scale works Brahms wrote that have become part of the standard repertoire and the high regard that exists for these works speak for themselves.

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#1230452 - 07/12/09 03:03 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: sotto voce]
jdhampton924 Offline
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Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
I'm as perplexed by smugness as I am by lack of spontaneity, and equally uncertain how it is conveyed or revealed in music.

Steven


Do you believe music can convey emotions such as love, loss, anger, sadness ect ect. Do you believe that music can convey things even about the composer? If so it is not much of a stretch to believe what I am saying, but to each his own.

In the end we should continue to critique these master works. Not only will it lead to greater appreciation of some, but will lead to new discoveries as well.

Jeffrey


Edited by jdhampton924 (07/12/09 03:06 PM)

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#1230459 - 07/12/09 03:40 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: sotto voce]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17966
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
I'm as perplexed by smugness as I am by lack of spontaneity, and equally uncertain how it is conveyed or revealed in music.

Steven


I am not sure why you should be perplexed by what others feel or hear in the music of Brahms, or, specifically by the "smugness" or "lack of spontaneity" that others have mentioned in his (piano) works. Are these not subjective reactions to his music, and do not many of us react differently to others to the same piece of music, the same work of literature, a given painting or sculpture? Little of what has been said so far has been totally objective - how objective can one be in talking about one's reactions to music - so it should be neither surprising nor perplexing that we all do not share the same reactions.

As for elaborating on my feeling that the Brahms music I know often lacks a character that I called spontaneity - in response to Andromaque's questioning "lack of inspiration" - I don't have sufficient verbal skills to put that thought into more precise language; it's a feeling, a reaction to Brahms' music that I can't articulate. There's a certain gravitas, a seriousness, a complexity and a formality of structure that all perhaps stem, in part, from the relatively thick texture of his writing that precludes - for me - a sense of ... what's the right word? I'm at a loss for the precise expression, but "lack of spontaneity" is the closest I can come. Rather than adding more of what his music does not have, perhaps I could add that his music strikes me has having a strong "introspective" character.

As I said before, however, for me that is not a criticism of Brahms, that's just what makes Brahms' music distinctively his own. There are soulful melodies, clever - often brilliant - interplays of voices, a rich harmonic palette and an often intriguing use of rhythmic patterns that distinguish the music of Brahms from that of other composers.

Nor would I deny that he is one of "the greats."

Regards,
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BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#1230461 - 07/12/09 03:42 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: jdhampton924]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Jeffrey,

Those are very interesting questions. My uncertainties about the answers, and my wish to understand the underlying issues better, makes we want to start a new thread about the topic of emotions in music.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1230513 - 07/12/09 05:13 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: sotto voce]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
what BruceD says..

I also could not find a precise term to describe my reaction(s) to some of Brahms' music. This is not to say that it is devoid of beauty and appeal.
he is like a gorgeous sophisticated creature or painting that does not speak my language or, that does not convey a direction or resolution.
A famous poem by Charles Baudelaire ends with a verse that describes my state of affairs after listening to a complex work by Brahms 'sometimes':
La toile était levée et j'attendais encore
Which translates a bit awkwardly into something like : the curtain had risen and I was still waiting.
Music is subjective!

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#1230537 - 07/12/09 05:46 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: btb]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6118
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: btb
With sincere respect Damon,

At 50 years of age (excuse a look at your profile)

That's why it's there. smile

Originally Posted By: btb
you’re more than ready for anno Domini insight into the Brahms legacy ... only with the years does the majesty of Brahms works filter through ... with 20 years on you, soaking up the marvels of Johannes B , I continue to be completely stopped in my tracks by the breathtaking 4 Symphonies ... but this morning on our local ClassicFm radio channel the host played the slow movement to the Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto ... and so rightly mused "it is as if the world stood still".


Purely happenstance that I was listening to that very piece while reading this forum. I don't remember the last time I was so emotionally moved by a piece of music. How music that I considered "aimless meandering" yesterday caused me to cry today is beyond my ability to explain.
_________________________
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#1230560 - 07/12/09 06:42 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: Damon]
anne with numbers Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/08/09
Posts: 15
Originally Posted By: jdhampton924
Though I did not have the same reaction to other German romantic composers when I started listening to them more. I can't get enough of the music of Mendellssohn and Schumann!

it is a mistake to call Brahms a romantic, as he belongs to the Classical school. this does not mean however that he was not imaginative.

and as we all know (or most of us), classicalism is an art that is (i) a formal discipline, (ii) model of excellence, supplemented by (iii) that which has to do with Greek or Latin antiquity; or as most people learn from basic music reference books, a form of art in which there is "control and balance"

the classical composers work on a purely musical basis, while the romanticists include some external non-musical factor as the emotional basis of their work

generally the mass believes any composer after Beethoven and before Wagner is "romantic". this is not true of course. the "progressives", or the majority of composers after Beethoven's death were all of the romantic persuasion, and this continued to be the case until Brahms appeared and returned to the apparently obsolete methods of Beethoven, producing "pure music"

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#1230566 - 07/12/09 06:47 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: anne with numbers]
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1075
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: anne with numbers

it is a mistake to call Brahms a romantic, as he belongs to the Classical school. this does not mean however that he was not imaginative.

and as we all know (or most of us), classicalism is an art that is (i) a formal discipline, (ii) model of excellence, supplemented by (iii) that which has to do with Greek or Latin antiquity; or as most people learn from basic music reference books, a form of art in which there is "control and balance"

the classical composers work on a purely musical basis, while the romanticists include some external non-musical factor as the emotional basis of their work

generally the mass believes any composer after Beethoven and before Wagner is "romantic". this is not true of course. the "progressives", or the majority of composers after Beethoven's death were all of the romantic persuasion, and this continued to be the case until Brahms appeared and returned to the apparently obsolete methods of Beethoven, producing "pure music"


I always thought Romantic/Classical etc. dealt with the time period mostly but I understand what you're getting at. For fun there is this link which I found today:

http://web.mit.edu/ckcheung/www/MusicalWritings_files/Brahms_NoteOnOp60_web_20041205.pdf

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#1230567 - 07/12/09 06:51 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: BruceD]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
I'm as perplexed by smugness as I am by lack of spontaneity, and equally uncertain how it is conveyed or revealed in music.

Steven

I am not sure why you should be perplexed by what others feel or hear in the music of Brahms, or, specifically by the "smugness" or "lack of spontaneity" that others have mentioned in his (piano) works. Are these not subjective reactions to his music, and do not many of us react differently to others to the same piece of music, the same work of literature, a given painting or sculpture? Little of what has been said so far has been totally objective - how objective can one be in talking about one's reactions to music - so it should be neither surprising nor perplexing that we all do not share the same reactions….

Bruce, I think that my perplexed state is prosaic: I simply don't understand how something like smugness is conveyed or revealed or perceived in music. I can stretch my imagination to include a whole laundry list of attributes that people might find in, or feel from, music, and smugness is beyond my ken.

So when I say I'm perplexed that someone finds smugness in music, that's my own subjective reaction to someone's subjective reaction. Obviously, people do react in a surprised and perplexed manner to something—however subjective we know it to be—that comes as a complete surprise.

Thanks for clarifying about spontaneity, although it still eludes me—again, my subjective reaction—how any non-improvised music could be anything other than non-spontaneous.

Perhaps it just attests to my own musical illiteracy and lack of sophistication that I would never in a million years characterize any classical music as smug or lacking in spontaneity. And just as there's nothing wrong with anyone holding that opinion, I can't see what's amiss with saying that I, personally and subjectively, find it unusual, surprising and perplexing.

Originally Posted By: BruceD
I don't quite get it.

The OP asked for opinions on the works of Brahms. Some people expressed their opinions and then others criticize them for voicing those opinions. Is this not an open forum for expressing opinions? Do all opinions have to agree, otherwise they are considered invalid?

Regards,

So why do I feel that my opinion is somehow invalid? Is this not an open forum for expressing opinions about opinions as well?

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1230568 - 07/12/09 06:57 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: currawong]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6297
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Quote by music critic Cecil Gray: "There is no great figure in the history of music who has not in some way or other contributed substantially to the enrichment and expansion of the art, with the possible exception of Brahms, and it it precisely for that reason that many people feel that he is not one of the first rank. He is, you might say, one who has received a vast inheritance which he has handed on to his successors undiminished, perhaps, but also unincreased. The history of music would be the same in all essentials if Brahms had never lived; one cannot say the same of any other great composer-- certainly least of all Bach."


I guess it depends on one's definition of a "great composer."

Certainly the same statement could be applied to other 19th century composers such as Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, and (gasp) even Chopin. If any one of them had not lived, "the history of music would be the same in all essentials" - although we would have been deprived of amazing musical literature that has enriched our lives. They all built upon the legacies of Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
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#1230596 - 07/12/09 07:59 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: carey]
pianoloverus Online   content
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I don't think the history of music would have been the same without Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, or Chopin. Just because they may have built on the legacies of Bach, Beethoven etc. doesn't mean they didn't make major contributions to the history of Western music.

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#1230617 - 07/12/09 08:52 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: pianoloverus]
carey Offline
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Per Anne with Numbers: "......and this continued to be the case until Brahms appeared and returned to the apparently obsolete methods of Beethoven, producing "pure music."

Anne - All of the great "romantic" composers produced their fair share of "pure" music which followed "classical" forms.
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#1230635 - 07/12/09 09:19 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: carey]
anne with numbers Offline
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Registered: 07/08/09
Posts: 15
what forms are you talking about? the "sonata allegro" form is not a classical form, if that's what you're implying

whether or not those composers composed pieces in the classical style, which is extremely rare, they all belong to the romantic school as they composed strictly following the style of that "school". a school that lacked the powers to organize their ideas through the means of a nice sense of proportion, but composed by an intense desire to make their music intelligible by connecting it with the outside world. in fact to make in some sense a "criticism of life"

possibly why people think Brahms is "smug" is that his music is too "formal", his music is not driven by "emotions" but by music itself

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#1230647 - 07/12/09 09:41 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: anne with numbers]
jdhampton924 Offline
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Originally Posted By: anne with numbers
Originally Posted By: jdhampton924
Though I did not have the same reaction to other German romantic composers when I started listening to them more. I can't get enough of the music of Mendellssohn and Schumann!

it is a mistake to call Brahms a romantic, as he belongs to the Classical school. this does not mean however that he was not imaginative.


By that line of thought, I would argue Mendelssohn is also from the classical school. I should clarify, when I refer to romantics, I am usually refering to a time period and not compositional style. I mean it would be a mistake to imply that he did not have imagination. Or that anyone from the classical school didn't. I mean we wouldn't say the same thing of Beethoven, Haydn or Mozart.

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#1230662 - 07/12/09 10:13 PM Re: Do we have any Brahms fans here? [Re: anne with numbers]
carey Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6297
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Per Anne with Numbers: "what forms are you talking about? the "sonata allegro" form is not a classical form, if that's what you're implying"

whether or not those composers composed pieces in the classical style, which is extremely rare, they all belong to the romantic school as they composed strictly following the style of that "school". a school that lacked the powers to organize their ideas through the means of a nice sense of proportion, but composed by an intense desire to make their music intelligible by connecting it with the outside world. in fact to make in some sense a "criticism of life"

possibly why people think Brahms is "smug" is that his music is too "formal", his music is not driven by "emotions" but by music itself
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I'm not sure I know how to respond to your broad generalizations - although I think I understand what you are trying to say. Just out of curiousity - why do you believe that the "sonata allegro" form was not a classical form?
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